Sunday, May 22, 2005

Cute Girl

First table of the night. Two young women, stylishly dressed sit nervously. One of them has a phone to her ear. The other turns to me and says, “It’s been a long day. We’re going to need some drinks.” I smile because the timbre in her voice is strained and self-aware of the desperation she’s conveying. I instantly like her. I get the two drinks and now the other girl is off the phone. They both look spent and frustrated. I’ve got no other tables so I decide to talk to them a little.

Me: “What’s wrong?”
Phone Girl: “Our friend was supposed to be here. We’re going to see Margaret Cho in concert and she forgot the tickets and had to go back home and we called her to see what’s up and she’s not here.”
Cute Girl: “And she fell on her way back to her place.”
Me: “Is she alright?”
Both girls: “Yes.”
Cute Girl: “When you meet her you won’t be surprised.”
Me: “Okay.”

Eventually the last girl does show up and I can instantly see what they’re talking about. She’s never outgrown that awkwardness that comes with adolescence. Worst of all she’s fully aware of it.

Now it’s just a couple minutes past 7 and their concert is at 8 and nowhere near the Village. So I quickly get their order and make the kitchen aware of their race against time.

During a casual pass at the table, I struck up more conversation.
Me: “Are we celebrating something tonight?”
Phone Girl: “It’s not someone’s birthday.”
Phone Girl and Late Girl are pointing to Cute Girl. Cute Girl is shaking her head. I’m quite smitten with her and I notice that I’ve been standing there a little too long, so I just say the first thing that jumps into my head.
Me: “It’s Mr. T’s birthday too.”
They all pause and laugh at the absurd randomness of my statement.
Me: “He turns 53 today.”
Cute Girl: “How do you know that?”
Me: “I have an insane memory for shit like that.”

It starts raining like crazy a few moments after that. Cute Girl just shakes her head.

Me: “It’s okay. We’ll flag you a cab.”
Cute Girl: “Yeah?”
Me: “Yes. And by flag you a cab I mean I’ll point you to the corner and say, ‘You can usually get a cab right there.’”
She laughs.
Cute Girl: “I’m wearing open toed gold shoes.”
Me: "Okay."
I bring her an umbrella that someone left behind from the night before.
Me: “You can have this.”
She smiles.

It’s quickly approaching 7:40 and they’re now done with entrees. I wonder if they’ll stick around for dessert. Their attitude has definitely skewed towards laissez-faire now that they’re all a couple cocktails into the evening. After a quick glance they order a couple of desserts, which means that they’ll also receive our birthday cake, which is wonderful. My pastry chef thinks it’s funny that I brought up the whole Mr. T thing earlier in the evening so she sends out a plate that has his name spelled out in chocolate sauce. My chef has a weird sense of humor.

Anyway that’s it. There’s no great end to this story. I didn’t ask the girl out, didn’t get her name. She left and I'll most likely never see her again. But she’s beautiful and I hope her birthday went well.

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